In this progressive and enlightened era, every group and association is, sooner or later, forced to respond to transgender ideology and activism. To respond to increasing demands for trans inclusion, Canada Galaxy Pageants has a policy of accepting transgender female contestants who have fully transitioned and no longer have male genitals.
Based in Toronto, Canada Galaxy Pageants seeks out "intelligent, ambitious, personable and progressive women who make a difference in their communities through volunteerism and service." The official preliminary pageant to Galaxy International Pageants, Canada Galaxy Pageants is open to girls and women of all ages, shapes, and sizes. Competition categories include "Interview," "Photogenic", "Fashion Wear," and "Evening Gown."
Judges look for stage presence, confidence, overall impression, beauty and elegance in photos, community involvement, interview skills and if contestants are prepared to be a role model. The pageant encourages community service, having already raised thousands of dollars for Give Kids the World Village. Even before competing, one of this year's contestants started a non-profit organization to support families.
Unfortunately, Galaxy's policy is not good enough for Jessica Yaniv (a.k.a. Jonathan Yaniv or Jessica Simpson), who is now asking the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal for $10,000 in a discrimination complaint. Yaniv has male genitals and was born a biological male, but now self-identifies as female.
In May 2019, Yaniv applied to be a contestant in the Pageant but was informed that only transgender females who had complete sex reassignment surgery were able to compete. Claiming injury to dignity and feelings, Yaniv wants the Tribunal to rule that neither Canada Galaxy Pageants nor any other organization can refuse a service to someone just because that person has male genitals.
This is not Yaniv's first human rights complaint involving genitalia. In 2018, Yaniv filed more than a dozen complaints against Vancouver-area estheticians who had refused Yaniv's request for a "Brazilian" bikini wax. These women, almost all of them immigrants and most working from home, lacked the requisite training in handling male genitals, and felt uncomfortable doing so.
The BC Human Rights Tribunal eventually dismissed Yaniv's complaints but not without Yaniv having inflicted extreme distress, anxiety and hardship on these vulnerable women. The Tribunal specifically found that "Yaniv's predominant motive" was not to prevent or remedy alleged discrimination, but "to target small businesses for personal financial gain."
All of the contestants at Canada Galaxy Pageants, including girls as young as six, change their clothing and undress in common areas. To protect the privacy and comfort of women and girls, no males are allowed into these spaces, not even the fathers of young contestants.
Teenagers and older contestants also compete in a "Swimwear" category. It would contravene public decency to have women be in close proximity to a biological male with male genitalia wearing women's swimwear. These women would also be seen by Yaniv in various states of undress, including nude and semi-nude.
The Charter protects freedom of association. As the Supreme Court of Canada explains it: "As social beings, our freedom to act with others is a primary condition of community life, human progress and civilized society." Freedom of association protects "the freedom of individuals to interact with, support, and be supported by, their fellow humans in the varied activities in which they choose to engage."
If Canada Galaxy Pageants is forced by law or by other forms of government coercion to include Yaniv, all other contestants (biological females and fully transitioned individuals without male genitals) would be forced to associate with Yaniv (a biological male with male genitals) against their will.
Biological women and girls should be free to associate with other biological women and girls in activities that serve their unique interests and needs. Women and girls deserve safe, secure female-only places where they won't have to worry about seeing male genitals, or having individuals with male genitals looking at them. Canada Galaxy Pageants already accommodates fully transitioned transgender females without male genitals. It should not be pushed beyond that point by Yaniv's human rights complaint.
Lawyers John Carpay and Allison Pejovic work for the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which is representing Canada Galaxy Pageants before the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.